S.S. KULSHAN

BUILT:  1910, Moran Shipbuilders, Seattle, WA
OFFICIAL NUMBER: 207780 SIGNAL LETTERS: LBPT/KJPG (by 1932)
L/B/D: 160 x 32 x 21 GROSS/NET TONS: 926/563   
PROPULSION: One triple expansion steam engine, developing 1100 HP SPEED: 16 knots
NAME TRANSLATION: Native American name for Mount Baker; various meanings including “white sentinel” and “shot at the point”
FINAL DISPOSITION: Scrapped, 1938
“The Moran Co. at Seattle completed a first-class steel screw steamer, the
Kulshan, for the Seattle-Bellingham service of the Puget Sound Navigation Co.,
replacing the
Whatcom. Of 926 tons, with dimensions of 160.3 x 32 x 20.7, the
Kulshan was equipped with triple-expansion engine (17, 28, 47 ½ x 36) with
steam at 225 pounds working pressure from two oil-fired water tube boilers. The
engine developed 1,100 horsepower. Her contract speed of 13 knots was easily
exceeded on her four-hour continuous steaming trials, during which she
averaged 14.32 knots.


Later in the month of August she carried a grand excursion and basket picnic
party from Seattle to Port Ludlow to celebrate the 58th anniversary of the
establishment of the Puget Mill Co. there, then entering the Bellingham route,
which she maintained dependably for almost twenty years.  Her performance was
a source of pride to Puget Sound residents, for she was practically a 100% local
product, much of the steel for her construction having been rolled at the Irondale
mill near Port Townsend.  Her first master was Capt. John ("Red Jack") Ellsmore,
one of the pioneer Sound captains, who had commanded the old stern-wheeler
State of Washington, both under Pacific Navigation Co. and Puget Sound
Navigation Co. ownership. A second steel passenger steamer,
Sioux, was
launched at Moran's on December 31, going into service early in 1911."--
Gordon Newell, "Maritime Events of 1910,"
H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the
Pacific Northwest
., p. 172.  

The
Kulshan held down the Seattle-Bellingham for route for nearly her entire
career, remaining on the route until 1929. At that point truck traffic was already
becoming the main form of transport of freight around Puget Sound, and the
Kulshan spent most of her remaining time in lay-up, never working full time again.

With the arrival of the new diesel ferries from California, the
Kulshan was not
considered for conversion into an auto ferry. The trim steamer was broken up for
scrap in 1938, alongside the
Indianapolis.